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Compiled by Athenkosi Tsotsi

Sports Reporter

Confirmed: Erasmus takes charge of new-look Bok coaching team

New men in charge of defence and attack, while there's also space for Bok great Vermeulen.

SA Rugby have confirmed the coaching changes in the Springboks setup, with Rassie Erasmus taking over as coach until the 2027 Rugby World Cup in Australia.

Erasmus, who coached the Springboks to a World Cup title in 2019, will replace his longtime friend and partner Jacques Nienaber, who led the team to last year’s Webb Ellis Cup triumph in France.

Also joining the Boks are former Ireland hooker Jerry Flannery, who will take charge of the team’s defence, and former All Black flyhalf Tony Brown, whose focus will be on the attack.

They will complete the national rugby team’s coaching staff for the next cycle alongside Mzwandile Stick, Deon Davids and Daan Human, as well as Andy Edwards as head of athletic performance.

‘Massive honour’

Reacting to his official re-appointment as coach of the Springboks, Erasmus said he was delighted and will look to have a seamless transition back into the role after he had served as director of rugby.

“It is a massive honour to coach the Springboks, and I am grateful for the trust placed in me,” said Erasmus.

“The main difference between the last four years and this season is that I will be more hands-on at the field sessions.

“In my role as director of rugby in the last four years I continued to oversee the team structures and strategy in conjunction with Jacques and the other coaches, so it should be an easy transition back into the head coach role.

“We already had our first coaching session this week at the hospital, and it’s great to see the enthusiasm among the coaches to get the season underway,” he said.

With the coaching staff of the world champions confirmed Erasmus said this will allow them to start the building process towards the next global showpiece Down Under.

“With the coaching team finalised, we can now focus on planning for the season and the next few years.”

Continuation and depth

Erasmus said they will look to build on the depth they have created, keeping the core that won in France and introducing some new faces to the Test scene.

“One of our key pillars in the last few years was building player depth and we are excited about the talent available to us this season,” said Erasmus.

“Most of the 2023 World Cup-winning players are still available for selection, and several young players now have the luxury of international and World Cup experience, which is invaluable at Test level.

SA Rugby also announced the appointment of Bok great Duane Vermeulen to a roving coaching role with all SA Rugby’s national teams and former referee Jaco Peyper as Springbok National Laws Advisor.

The Boks will kick start their new term with an incoming series against Ireland and Portugal in July.

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